Czech Traces in the World
The roots of Czech emigration date back to the 16th century. Until the 18th century, motivations of people who permanently left the Czech Lands were mostly religious and political. In the 19th century, economic and social reasons started to prevail. The emigration received the greatest response in areas with fewer job opportunities and poorer agricultural conditions. Citizens of the Czech Lands emigrated within the monarchy, for example to the Military Frontier, Galicia, Bukovina, Dalmatia and Hungary, but also to the rest of Europe and the world (mainly the United States of America). In the 20th century, political emigration started to prevail due to the repressive regimes in the Czech state and many outstanding Czech personalities from the politics, art and science (e.g. Jiří Voskovec, Miloš Forman, Pavel Tigrid, Milan Kundera and other) emigrated. At present, several million inhabitants of the Czech origin live abroad. Although many Czech enclaves became gradually assimilated, some others maintained their national distinctiveness, language and culture, thus becoming unique “islands of the Czechhood” (e.g. Czech villages in Rumanian Banat).
The Czech traces can also be found in toponyms connected with Czech explorers, scientists, travellers or entrepreneurs (e.g. Emil Holub’s African expedition, Julius Payer’s polar expedition, settlements founded by the Baťa company, etc.), but also in the form of memorials commemorating important Czech personalities or locations of military glory (e.g. Zborov, Tobruk). Last but not least, Czech traces are apparent in buildings created by Czech architects scattered all around the world (e.g. Letzel’s Industrial Palace in Hiroshima, buildings created by Karel Filsak, Karel Bubeníček, Věra and Vladimír Machonin or the more recent creations of Jan Kaplický, Eva Jiřičná, etc.) as well as other works in the area of fine arts, literature, music and film.
Along with official representation of the Czech state, the Czech minorities and the other mentioned traces are the most beneficial factors in the promotion of Czech culture, history and traditions in the world.
One of the many forms of Czech footprints in the world… (Ivan Olbracht Street, Uzhhorod, Ukraine). Photo Jiří Martínek.
historians: Jitka Močičková, Ladislav Hladký, Jiří Martínek, Markéta Šantrůčková
geographer: Tomáš Burda
cartographers: Petra Jílková, Richard Boukal, Marek Fáber, Jakub Havlíček, Tomáš Janata, Pavel Seemann
digital atlas: Petra Jílková, Jiří Krejčí, Jitka Močičková, Eva Semotanová
team of authors
Martínek, J. – Martínek, M.: Kdo byl kdo – naši cestovatelé a geografové. Praha 1998;
Vaculík, J.: Češi v cizině 1850–1938. Masarykova univerzita, Brno 2007;
Vaculík, J.: České menšiny v Evropě a ve světě. Libri, Praha 2009;
Semotanová, E. ‒ Cajthaml, J. a kol.: Akademický atlas českých dějin. Praha 2014, 2. akt. vydání 2016;
Semotanová, E. ‒ Zudová-Lešková, Z. ‒ Močičková, J. ‒ Cajthaml, J. ‒ Seemann, P. ‒ Bláha, J. D. a kol.: Český historický atlas. Kapitoly z dějin 20. století. Praha 2019.